10 Qualities to Cultivate Loving Spiritual Family Relationships
When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another – and ourselves. – Jack Kornfield
I’m incredibly blessed to have developed wonderful business relationships and friendships. I can’t imagine who I would be or what my life would be like without them when I need business advice, feedback, to vent, a hug, a cheer, or a kick in the pants.
I’m a believer that the outside world is a reflection of the person we become on the inside. On days, when I am not at my best and feeling a bit low, I think of the people in my life who like hanging out with me in business or in my personal life.
I realize if the people I enjoy, love, admire, and respect as high quality people want to be with me, well, what does that say about me, huh? My mood begins to lift and my thoughts shift. It’s a great reality check!
It takes time to develop trust and safety with folks. In my journey, the 10 qualities below are personal values and ones I look for in others.
- Authenticity. Being real and genuine (as much as possible). Having the willingness to be vulnerable and let go of the need “to look good” in all situations invites opportunities to make a heart connection.
In truth, we’re not always are our best and being human invites others to be real and genuine. When I’m in conversation with someone who is only sharing from their head, I have no sense of who they are because I can’t feel them anywhere!
- Listening and communications skills. Who doesn’t want to feel heard and understood? Having the ability to express thoughts and feelings creates connection. Becoming a great listener and communicator is an art –one that can be developed without having to be perfect. What a wonderfull feeling to be with someone who “gets” you, loves you in all of the ways you show up, and still wants to hang out with you!
- Forgiveness. Making it OK to be human. I have put my foot in my mouth on many occasions and been forgiven. We all screw up sometimes and knowing that our human choices (yup I said choices) and mistakes will not cost us love and acceptance is a huge builder of trust and safety.
- Unconditional love/acceptance. That’s what our children and animals teach us! Being loved and accepted for who we are is a normal and human desire we all want.
Our individual viewpoints, experiences, passions… add richness and flavor to relationships (and the world). When we can offer unconditional love and acceptance to others we share a great gift that can be nurtured and passed on. That is how we serve others to heal and grow. Love is our natural state!
Being forgiven has taught me how to forgive others; to look beyond the action or comment and see who that person is – someone just like me who wants to be loved and accepted.
- 100% responsibility. Let go of the blame game and fully owning thoughts, words, and actions. This is about being in personal integrity in how you show up and making amends when appropriate. Folks in my circle know that if it’s my stuff, I’ll own it and clean up anything I’ve created to the best of my ability. Red flags go up for me when I see folks play the blame game and pass the buck.
- Not taking everything personally. This is an advanced skill to be able to hear and experience people from a charge neutral space with compassionate detachment.
As a coach, therapist, and counselor, being able to step back without personalizing is a skill I’ve honed over the years. Having a strong self-image and sense of self are critical elements in being able to de-personalize. Being hungry, angry, lonely or tired can make it harder to stay in a loving space with people without reacting. Keeping self-care a priority is important!
- Aligned values. Spiritual growth, personal transformation, communication, integrity are some of my core values. The people closest to me all share a common value of personal growth/life-long learning. Being with people who share personal, business, life values can feel like connecting with kindred spirits!
- Compassion/empathy. Loving appreciation and understanding without judgment or criticism. Being thoughtful and caring invites the love of our soul to emerge. Ties right back to #4.
- Supportive. People feel supported in different ways. Communicating what we need to be supported is the way we teach people how to show up for us. Building a strong community of people who nurture, energize, and lift us (whether we need a boost or not!) invites us to be authentic.
- Managing conflict. This is a biggy for many folks. When people show up to work through the conflict by taking responsibility for their part, de-personalizing, being honest, making amends if necessary…. many of the points I’ve written about already, real trust and safety flourishes. We all want to know that when things get tough and uncomfortable, folks will stick around and not leave us!
Each day I begin with gratitude for the people and things in my life. I love to let the special people in my life know how much I appreciate and cherish them with an email, phone call, card, flowers, gift…. especially on those days when I am feeling a bit blue or scared.
We can feel alone and lonely even when we are surrounded by people and we can become disconnected from our spirit and loved ones. Those are the times to remember to reach out to make internal and external reconnections to feel the love!
The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi captures the essence of what we seek in our family ties and in all areas of our life– to love and be loved for who we are, to emulate the qualities of God/Higher Power/The Divine by being models and messengers of peace, light, and love.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.